Murdoch Family - News Corp covered in-depth by The Sydney Morning Herald

Murdoch Family - News Corp covered in-depth by The Sydney Morning Herald
(The Sydney Morning Herald)

The Sydney Morning Herald - Media and Marketing



Lachlan Murdoch: the son rises - October 22nd, 2022
(The Sydney Morning Herald)

He’s emerged as the successor to his famous father at the head of the multinational media conglomerate, Fox Corporation. Is the Fox News cable channel a good indication of where he might take it?


By Paddy Manning

It had been a remarkably chilly start to the 2022 winter and there was a stiff breeze on Sydney Harbour when Lachlan Murdoch and his wife, Sarah, took a few friends out for a spin in their new $30-million motor yacht, Istros – a present for her 50th birthday. On a Wednesday afternoon in early June, when most of America was fast asleep, Lachlan could afford to take time off from his day job running Fox Corporation, parent of the world’s most controversial cable television outfit, Fox News. Paparazzo Jayden Seyfarth watched through his long lens as Lachlan and Sarah helped their rugged-­up guests aboard, settled in for drinks and took in the sunset.

At 43-metres long, Istros is modest by today’s standards, when mega-­yachts and giga-yachts two or three times the size can cost upwards of $500 million. Oozing old-­world charm, the ship was built in Holland in 1954 and originally owned by Greek shipping tycoons the Pappadakis family. In 2001, it won the grand prize for the best-restored vessel at Monaco’s Classic Yacht Show, but then fell into disrepair, sitting idle in Malta until it was bought for a song, gutted and completely refitted by Van Geest Design, the Dutch builders of super yachts for moguls, oligarchs and kleptocrats the world over.

Lachlan had bought Istros in February 2022 and had it delivered Down Under, where it would entertain family and friends, a few lucky contacts from business and politics, as well as faithful toilers from across the Murdoch media empire, which had been founded in Australia by his grandfather, Keith, and turned into the first global news conglomerate by his swashbuckling father, Rupert.

Nowhere did the Murdochs wield such concentrated power as in Australia, where the family had controlled two-thirds of newspaper circulation for nearly four decades and had an outright monopoly over pay TV. Lachlan was a third-­generation media mogul, living it up in his adoptive hometown; his older sister, Prue, had good reason to call him the “king of Sydney”. Istros took months to arrive and, on Lachlan and Sarah’s first outing, the Daily Mail Australia reported the couple looked as “happy as ever”.

The next week, they took their teenage daughter Aerin and her friends around the harbour to see the Vivid festival, when Sydney’s world-­famous Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay were bathed in lightworks by visual artists from all over the globe. Papped by Seyfarth again, Lachlan stood by the gunnels of Istros and directly faced the cameraman, throwing his arms out wide as though surprised or annoyed at the attention. After spending his entire adult life in the spotlight, the man who employed as many journalists as anyone still bristled when he was the subject of their inquiries.

Beautiful as Istros might be, she was only a stop-gap runabout: Lachlan was awaiting delivery of the boat of his dreams, a 60-­metre, $175-million, ultra-modern sloop under construction at another Dutch shipyard, Royal Huisman. The largest carbon ­fibre yacht ever built in Holland, Murdoch’s new purchase was known only by the code name “MM597” and would accommodate 12 guests and 10 crew.

According to the manufacturer’s website, distinguishing features included “a huge transom opening which … will give access to an expansive, lavish beach club”. Lachlan and Sarah had paid a stunning $37 million for a boatshed and jetty at Point Piper, a few minutes’ drive from their $100-million Bellevue Hill mansion, Le Manoir. In the meantime, Istros would have to do.

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(The Sydney Morning Herald)